Off the Silver Path: Of Street Lights and Boogie Men

So this isn't exactly what this blog is normally used for, and for those of you coming around to find game tidbits I'm sorry. This was my first exposure to shaping combat (not that I understood that at the time), and serves as a perfect example of how you can fight the Dreaming and her children without resorting to Banality.

This is a story my mother told me when I was very young. She wrote the story out for me several years ago, and it's been tickling my mind recently, so I decided it was time to dig it up. The images are intended to be child like, but I know they're a bit awkward. They're an old project I did with this story and I've been thinking about my mother and Changeling a lot recently so I wanted to get this out there in all of its rough around the edges glory. There are a lot of stories out there about Changeling children raised by parents who don't understand them, who are all too often Autumn People. I know Changeling is fundamentally a tragic story, but sometimes a Fae child is fortunate enough to have a Kinain parent, and this is in honor of all of those parents, and the lift they do for their children.

The Boogie Man by Bernadette Robinson Kinzer

When I was little I came home from school one day filled with strange horror stories told to me at school about the Boogie Man.

I asked my mother about them and she told me all about the Boogie Man, about his ugly face and dark scary shadow.

She told me how he liked to come out at night to scare little children, but she told something else as well . . .

She told me the Boogie Man’s secret.

Victor changed into his warm pajamas and his mother pulled the blanket down on his bed.
Before climbing into bed Victor stopped, “Mommy, is there a real Boogie Man?”
Victor’s mother didn’t answer at first. Then she asked, “Who told you about the Boogie Man?”
Victor closed his eyes and bowed his head, “Some kids at school. They told me the Boogie Man would follow me home from school, and he would get me tonight.”
Victor’s mother sat on the bed and said, “I see. Well. . . perhaps the Boogie Man did follow you home from school, but I am sure he will not get you tonight, or any other night. You are too big for the Boogie Man.”
“HUH?”, said Victor.
“Oh it’s true,” said his mother, “You see the Boogie Man is terribly ugly, just like everyone says. But what no one tells you is - he’s only this big.”
Victor’s mother held up two fingers to show Victor how tiny the Boogie Man is.
“For Real?” asked Victor,
“For Real,” said Victor’s mom.

“You see, the reason the Boogie man only comes out at night is he’s afraid to move around in the daylight. Everyone would see how tiny he is.”
Victor’s mom pulled the curtain to his window to one side, “But at night, it’s dark and hard to see him, and the Boogie Man only walks in front of street lights. See how long the shadows from the street lights are?”
Victor looked out his bedroom window at the long street lamp shadows.
“Everyone thinks the Boogie Man is big and scary because his shadow is so long, but only his shadow is big.”

“If the Boogie man does squeeze under the front door he could never reach you in your tall bed,” said Victor’s mother.
Victor smiled a big smile, “For real mom?”
“For Real Victor, but I don’t think the Boogie man will come to your room.  I think he’s afraid of you.” said Victor’s Mom.
She turned out the light and kissed Victor on the head. Victor got into bed and fell fast asleep.
The Boogie Man stayed outdoors all night, under the street light.


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